Have The Academy Awards Become Too Safe?

Greg Hewitt
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(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Credit: CBS St. Louis Greg Hewitt
Greg is a long time St. Louis media pro who just started year #2 of...
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The Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday night and like millions of others,  I’ll be parked in front of the TV with my cheat sheet of nominees, wondering how it’s possible that the only Best Picture contender I managed to see over the past year was American Hustle.   (Assist to our ace traffic reporter, Sue Thomas…)

It’s possible by the way, due to the fact that I have three young children (8,5 &3) at home who aren’t quite ready for the likes of Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. 

We’re taking about one of the masters of American cinema here.  You don’t just jump in head first!  I think maybe we’ll start with some of his earlier work, The King of Comedy or Goodfellas perhapsand work our way forward.

“Daddy, what’s a made guy?”

“Good question sweetie!  It’s a term for a “wise guy”.  You know, someone who thinks he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.”

“You mean like Mommy talks about you sometimes?

“No, more along the lines of….Wait….what?”

Ellen DeGeneres is hosting this year and I’m sure she’ll do a perfectly solid job.  She seems like a safe choice, unlike prior years when Chris Rock, David Letterman, Seth MacFarlane and the infamous James Franco/Anne Hathaway experiments were tried and widely panned.

Always the contrarian though, I actually like it when the ceremony takes these kind of chances.  No one remembers who hosted last year, (Actually it was Ellen) but everyone remembers  “Oprah?…..Uma?…

But what the show is really missing and desperately needs, is a different approach to the actual presentation and awarding of the Oscar statues.

I realize I’m in the minority on this, but I thought the approach they tried during the 2009 awards in the Best Actor category was terrific.

If you recall, they brought out 5 past Oscar winners  Robert Deniro, Michael Douglas, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley and Adrien Brody ( Gee, who doesn’t belong in that group?) and each of them introduced one of the nominees and spoke directly to them in a way that actually managed to feel unscripted and genuine.

Which is probably why they haven’t repeated it since.  Actors love scripts.

BTW, it was also the year Mickey Rourke was nominated in the Best Actor category for his role in The Wrestler.  Given his track record of bizarre behavior, I recall some within the academy at the time were nervous that he might do or say something inappropriate if he should actually win the award!

I mean, who knows, he might do something really crazy like launching into a rant about the injustice being perpetrated upon the career of his actor friend, Eric Roberts!

No….not even Mickey Rourke could be that crazy.  Right?

Check out the video below and see if the Academy had anything to worry about.  (And watch all the way through to see a real unscripted moment between Rourke and fellow nominee Sean Penn.)

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